Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the Institute of Professional Sport


  1.1  The Institute of Professional Sport (IPS) is the representative body for the professional players association in Great Britain.

  1.2  The opportunity to submit evidence to the Committee on the Staging of International Events is welcomed. Whilst the Government support for international events and new world class venues is all important, it is the players who remain the prime reason for people's attendance. As the last report highlighted, "home support" can make the difference between winning and losing when playing at the highest level.


  2.1  Garth Crooks OBE was involved, in a separate capacity, in the 2006 World Cup Bid. As such, he would like to place on record his support for the excellent work of the campaign team and the manner of government support for the bid.


  3.1  Players are the international face of sport. The excellent and tireless campaigning of Sir Bobby Charlton and Franz Beckenbauer for the English and German 2006 World Cup Bids respectively represents a model of good practice.

  3.2  The IPS is of the opinion that given the truly international nature of British professional sport there is scope for making a greater use of a wide range of British based sportsmen and women to assit in bid campaigns.


  4.1  The IPS strongly agrees with the Committee that it is important to have British postholders in key positions on International and European Federations to make the case for British bids. Whilst Britain's influence on International Federations may have declined, it is worth noting that international players associations have British representatives in key positions. For example, the Committee may be aware that the Chairman of the European Professional Golf Association of Europe is from the British PGA and the President of the International Players Association (FIFPro) is from the Professional Footballers Association.

  4.2  The IPS would welcome any encouragement that the Committee is able to give to promote governing bodies and players associations working closer together in attracting international events to Britain. When making international bids for sports events it is important that all British international postholders are involved and support the bid.


  5.1  Gaining key positions on International Federations is by no means a simple task. The IPS feels that international renowned players would have an advantage in gaining support amongst fellow committee members on International and European Federations.

  5.2  It should be possible to fast track key players with the potential to become international postholders. The Committee is encouraged to consider the merits of Government support for a suitable training programme to assist the transition from the sports pitch to the committee table. This would also help to produce a step change in British international postholders with younger and more diverse representatives being put forward.


  6.1  Government assistance for international postholders can take many forms. Whilst financial support may not be appropriate for all postholders, there can still be occasions where access to Government officials, advisors and translators would be of assistance, both to the postholders and to Government. It is felt that relationships between Government and professional players associations could still be improved.


  7.1  The Government Sports Strategy, A Sporting Future for All, outlines plans for governing bodies to modernise their structures in return for greater control over public finances. The IPS believes that a modern governing body must have player representation within the decision making process.

  7.2  The IPS is interested to learn what progress QUEST has made in reviewing administrative structures within national governing bodies. The Government response to the Committee's Report stated "A priority work area (for QUEST) over the first two years is likely to include a review of the administrative structures within national bodies across the fields of culture and sport, including a review of sports governing bodies."


  8.1  The IPS would welcome the Committee's opinion as to whether Government support for international bids is likely to be seen as an unfair subsidy by the European Commission.

  8.2  It is understood that without a specific Protocol for sport, the European Commission has little choice but to treat sport as just another business.


  9.1  Deloitte and Touche have calculated that the Government takes four times more money from sport in taxes than it returns through central and local government combined. The IPS would again ask the Committee to recognise the case for tax breaks for International Sporting Events on a par with those granted to the British Film Industry. This could be conditional upon any surplus of income being invested in the grass roots of sport.


  10.1  The IPS welcomed the Committee's last report into staging international events. Sports bodies have done well in attracting international events although there is always room for improvement.

  10.2  The Committee's recognition in the previous report of the need to have effective British postholders in key positions on International and European Sports Federations is fully endorsed by the IPS.

  10.3  A fast track system for grooming suitable international players for positions on International and European Federations would help to reverse the long-term decline in British influence on the world stage.

  10.4  Professional sport in Britain is truly international, often at the expense of opportunities for domestic players. The IPS believes that future bids for international sporting events should look to capitalise on the wide range of different nationalities playing professional sport in Britain. In particular, it is felt that this may offer a better approach than stressing our traditional sporting heritage.

December 2000

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